Drones swarmed the area above and around the Mercedes Benz Stadium where Sunday’s Super Bowl, exciting concern for authorities and spectators alike.
Officers confiscated a half-dozen drones that were flown near the Stadium despite restriction which bans the use of drones in the area of the stadium, according to FBI Spokesman Kevin Rowson. Pilots of these drones could potentially face fines and jail time.
Authorities are concerned for the safety of the crowd. If a pilot loses control of even one drone, it could go into the crowd and cause serious injuries.
The potential for terrorism is also a concern for authorities. “When we look up into the air and see a drone flying in the air, we have no idea if it’s friendly, or if it’s someone who has nefarious plans and it’s weaponized,” FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson said.
Finally, monitoring the illegal drone situation is pulling officers away from other duties. Rowson explained, “It has taken up a lot of time for our agents and for law enforcement officers to be targeting these drones when they could be working on other security measures.”
Other Drone Sightings
After drone spotting in December, hundreds of flights were cancelled and 100,000 people were either stranded or delayed at the Gatwick Airport outside of London.
Last month, pilots of Southwest and United Airlines encountered a drone at about 3,500 feet (1,000 meters) above Teterboro, New Jersey. As a result, there were dozens of delays at the nearby Newark Liberty International Airport.